GOP Presidential Field Grows

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Friday Texas Congressman Ron Paul threw his hat into the presidential ring for the third time. On Wednesday, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted that he's in the race. And Thursday Mitt Romney tried to explain how his health care reform ideas are different from President Obama's.

Neil King of the Wall Street Journal profiles contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, including the could-be hopefuls Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman.

Tea Party Godfather Ron Paul Running For President


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Rep. Ron Paul announced Friday that he will run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012, the third attempt for the man known on Capitol Hill as "Dr. No" for his enthusiasm for bashing runaway spending and government overreach.

"Time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I've been saying for 30 years. So, I think the time is right," said the 75-year-old Paul, who first ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988.

Paul made his announcement in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" from New Hampshire, where he planned his first event for his presidential campaign on Friday.

Romney Defends Health Law

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Mitt Romney says last year's Democratic-passed health care law is a federal government takeover of health delivery. But he says his somewhat similar Massachusetts law was right for his state.

The likely Republican presidential candidate on Thursday defended the law enacted in 2006 when he was Massachusetts governor. Both the state and federal laws require people to obtain health insurance.

Romney said his program was a state solution to a state problem. He said the Obama-backed law is a power-grab by the federal government to impose a one-size-fits-all plan on all 50 states.

Many conservatives say Romney should distance himself from the Massachusetts law's mandated insurance coverage.

AP Take: Gingrich Sketches Too-Rosy Past


WASHINGTON- Republican presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich is hitching his star to the era of economic growth in the 1990s when he was House speaker, declaring "We've done it before. We can do it again." But his account of what he did before is inflated.

The economy wasn't as rosy during his time in leadership as he's claiming - his numbers are off. And he appears to be taking all the credit for actions that were at least as much the doing of the Democratic president, Bill Clinton, as they were his own.

A look at some of Gingrich's statements about the past and the present, made in his presidential campaign announcement video this week and subsequent Fox TV interview, and how they compare with the facts.
-"And for four years, we balanced the budget and paid off $405 billion in debt. We've done it before. We can do it again." - Presidential campaign announcement.
-"This country has an enormous potential ... to balance the budget as we did for four years when I was speaker." - Fox.
-"We then balanced it (the budget) for four consecutive years." - Fox.

THE FACTS: First, the national debt went up, not down, during the four years Gingrich was speaker. In January 1995, when he assumed the leadership position, the gross national debt was $4.8 trillion. When he left four years later, it was $5.6 trillion, an increase of $800 billion.

As for annual deficits, he did not preside over a four-year period of balanced budgets. In the 1996 and 1997 budget years - the first two budget years he influenced as speaker - the government ran deficits. In 1998 and 1999, the government ran surpluses.

Washington achieved surpluses for two years after that, making for four consecutive years of black ink. But Gingrich only had a hand in the first two.

This segment aired on May 13, 2011.


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